At least 18 miners have died from excessive levels of carbon monoxide according to Chinese state TV.
The incident occurred in the Diaoshidong mine in Chongqing Municipality. Only one of the 24 miners was found alive.
A rescue mission is in search of the other 5 miners, according to CCTV reports. The accident was allegedly caused by a gas leak that occurred while workers were dismantling some equipment. An investigation has been launched to determine the causes.
The facility, inaugurated in 1975, has an annual production of approximately 120,000 tons of coal. In March 2013, another accident in the mine resulted in the deaths of three miners.
Accidents in mines are quite common in China.
According to Xinhua, this is the region’s second such accident in just over two months.
In December 2019, an explosion in a mine in Guizhou province claimed the lives of 14 people.
Each year, the coal mining industry causes 5,000 worker deaths. According to Labor rights groups, the figures regarding deaths in the mines are much higher, but owners do not communicate all the figures to avoid punishment.